When I look into the world from time to time, rarely does anything catch my eye. The race of man seems to be lethargic and barbaric, never taking the time to cooperate, more often than not; they just crash against each other like the waves on the many shores of my travels. However, in this age, my attention is brought to a desert sprawl called Ahrem by men. Here an arcane infused man named Draven, and his apprentice Avin, step off a curious ship, and begin this tale…….
The men seem uncomfortable in their foreign dress. Their long dark trench coats with high collars and wide brimmed hats that normally would keep out the rain of their homeland from clinging to their skin, now must make the heat unbearable but they continue into the Bazaar. Here they see men and women hawking their wares. In the middle of this, a muscled, well tan man is clearly heard above the raucous of the crowd. As he seems to be discussing a price for he and his men’s services as guards for a departing caravan.
“None of these peasants can equal my strength, my enemies fear me!” The man boasts as he flexes his muscles as he brings his large scimitar down before him in a pose.
“Alkim, my arcane friend, merely flicks his wrists and enemies burn to cinders in front of him! “ As if rehearsed the impish man motions with his hands over to a female companion, her water skin floats over to him and he takes a big swig out of it. The crowd gives hushed “ohhs and ahhs” as they watch.
“And the Lady has never seen an equal with her blades!” On cue, the half elf takes out one of her daggers quickly, throws it into the crowd, skewering a lamb leg a man was about to bite into and it sticks into slate of wood from a nearby wall causing the crowd to cheers at such showmanship.
“I think 85g is more than enough for this quality of protection.” The man smiles at the crowd and the small crowd waits for an answer.
At this time, the Incombrians just wade into the conversation asking if this Village that this caravan was headed to had any information regarding ruins in the area. Appalled by the interruption, the scimitar wielding giant confronted the Incombrians who used some sort of magic to scare the big man off. A small winged, fey man appeared on the shoulder of the Incombrian and shrank the staff he was holding and told him that the size of his weapon might be inadequate and that he would be happy to join them across the desert as city life had grown tiresome.
Draven negotiated the price of merely knowledge from the village elder as payment and told the old man that he would meet him back here in the morning to help with the caravan. Telling his apprentice to secure lodging, Draven headed to the Church of Arphenion and met with a miserly old man asking him to gather what information he could on the Hinite Empire that existed in Rissyn over 3 century ago. He paid the man a small donation and told him he would be back for the information when he returned after a week or so.
The caravan consisted of 7 passengers, a camel named crooked back, and a wagon. Among the passengers were:
A slave girl assigned as a guard. She wore nothing except white and red attire that flowed in the wind. The slave was assigned to Maz Alim, the wagon owner. An elderly man with a red fez and a white robe, a crop stuck in his belt. His son, Saudir, accompanied the caravan also in “guard” capacity. His only weapon was a pitted and dull Jambiya, which he showed as much grace as an amputee. A noble from Junah named Sahmoud and his concubine Isa were returning from Ahrem after researching some archeological finds in the desert. A farmer, Yusamir and his wife Mahda filled out the last of the caravan. These sheep farmers sold their mutton and dates in the market. Mahda having kept a small goat named “Bleet” in a small bag under her arm that she purchased from the Bazaar in Ahrem.
The incombrians, unused to walking long distances secured passage in the wagon, Draven using his arcane knowledge casting an ice spell to keep their reserves of water cool on the trip. Briarthorn the pixie from the bazaar, rode on top of the covered wagon, like a make shift hammock. Each night of the journey pillows would be laid out for Sahmoud and Isa around a small campfire. Mahda would cook and Yusamir would tell enchanting tales of his youth as an adventurer all the while Mahda would correct his exaggerations. Draven’s apprentice made friends quickly with the young Saudir and they would walk guard around the camp until it grew late and they grew tired.
Three days of travel, and the group ran into a wagon sitting mysteriously in the path. The slave girl, Intara, new it to be a trap, but she investigated it anyways. On the ground on the other side of the wagon lay the bodies of two Junah citizens that had run afoul of some raiders. Suddenly a loud horn was blown and the raiders sprung their trap. Shining sands goblin with hyena popped out of hiding holes and over a dune and attacked the caravan. In the fight, Intara’s martial skill was shown and apparently the pixie used divine magic to heal. Indeed he is a strange little fellow. As assumed both Dravena nd his apprentice used arcane magics and the raiders were vanquished. Unfortunately, Sahmoud was killed when the goblin archers volleyed the wagon which he was in, and a hyena flanked the attackers and tore Yusamir’s throat out. Intara managed to capture three of the goblins in the fight and they were taken prisoner.
When they reached Junah, the goblins were turned over to the elder as slaves and the dead were taken to be buried. The elder of the town told the adventurers that the treaty with the goblins recently ended and the goblins were raiding the farms outside of Junah, looking for something. Elder, Mou’ab, asked the Incombrians and company to attempt to find out as to why. Agreeing to this, the adventurers stayed at the Mutton Hut, an Inn in the small town of Junah until morning to head out to confront the goblins in their homeland.
Taking a detour to aquire a book about the Hinites at the estate of the late Sahmoud, the party headed north into the highlands where the goblins were known to be. The group was confronted by overwhelming numbers of goblins and brought before their leader, a hyena rider named Houd. After a trial by combat that Intara easily won against Houd’s champion, Houd told them about how they had been attacked and their shaman killed and a sacred stone called the Kings Stone was taken by a female human who killed many of his warriors while escaping. The party asked about the kings stone and it’s description was identical to the “discovery” that Sahmoud and his Concubine were looking at on the trip from Ahrem . The party said they would recover the stone if the goblins would call off their attacks on the people of Junah.
The goblins gave them only three days.
When they arrived back at the Sahmoud Estate they were visciously attacked by the former slaves. After defeated the slaves, the group searched for the stone in Sahmoud’s now empty estate. Nothing could be found. The curious pixie, Briarthorn, flew down the well and found a cave entrance that led into a shrine dedicated to the dark lord, Aranion. Here, Isa, was sacrificing slaves on an altar and it seemed to be powering the Kings Stone that was sitting in an alcove on a wall in the back of the shrine. The group quickly assaulted the cultists and Isa, now a wererat, transformed by the Kings Stone. Defeating the cult was quite hard and Intara and Briarthorn contracted Filth Fever from the battle.
Securing the captured cultists in a cabin, the group put the surviving slaves in charge of them until they returned.
Time was a factor and Intara and Briarthorn’s sickness continued for the next day’s ride back to the goblin lands. The party returned the stone to the goblins, explained what had happened and the goblins renewed their treaty with the people of Junah.
Returning to Sahmoud’s estate, the group picked up the slaves and cultists and returned to Junah and explained all that happened. The elder was thankful and awarded the group the promised 50 gold and the two surviving slaves from Sahmoud’s estate.
They traveled back to Ahrem where Draven found the location of the ancient Hinite City of Audibesh with help of tomes from Sahmoud’s house and the scholars of the church of Arphenion.